TAC C6E2 Megan Ixim Interview Podcast Graphic Plus-size style

Hello and welcome to Talking about Clothes, with me, Holly Chayes, where I talk about clothes with people who wear them. This is the transcript for plus-size style: clothes as creative outlet & clothing as every day must have with Megan Ixim. The second episode of Collection #6.

In this episode of the podcast, Megan Ixim and I talk about navigating fashion and finding your style as someone who wears plus-size clothing. We discuss the importance of fashion, being plus-size, her style preferences and practices, and diversity in the world of personal style. At the end of this conversation, Megan graciously shares her favorite fashion pieces, which I hope will inspire you to find yours. 

We originally recorded this conversation in 2021, and I’m so excited to share it with you. You’ll find the rest of this season’s conversations and links to everything we mention at WhoWearsWho.com/podcast6

So let’s dive in.

Jump to a section of the conversation: 

Meet Megan

Holly (01:20): Can you start with your name and where you’re located?

Megan (01:22): Sure. My name is Megan Ixim, and I am located in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Holly (01:29): Awesome. And what do you do?

Megan (01:31): I have many jobs. I am a social media director, a content creator. I do some plus size modeling, and I own my own dog walking business. And yeah, that’s just to name a few.

(Connect with Megan: find Megan’s website here, and follow her on Instagram here.)

Clothing as creative ritual 

Holly (01:47): <laugh>. Cool. When you think about clothing your body and wearing clothes and living your life and having to wear clothes, what do you think of?

Megan (01:57): I think of a combination of things. I think about how is this best going to serve me and my purpose and what I’m doing. And then also I think of clothing as a reflection of myself and my own personality.

(02:10): So when I enter into clothing, it’s not just about covering my body and, you know doing the basic societal norms. It’s also to me having a sense of creativity and kind of putting myself out into the world.

(02:25): So, clothing my body is, is kind of a ritual and also something I look forward to. Especially with a multitude of things that I’m doing. I luckily get to wear different clothes for different things. <laugh>. Which is a lot of fun. But these days more athleisure than I think I’ve ever been used to, to be honest.

Pre-pandemic style 

Holly (02:43): <laugh>. Kinda pre-pandemic, like what did you wear before you fell into the athleisure lifestyle?

Megan (02:52): Yeah. Before, before Pandemic. I don’t think I ever wore sweatpants out in public. I’m not gonna lie. And now I have matching tie-dye, sweatsuits. So I’m really leaning into…

Holly (03:05): You have embraced it <laugh> 

Megan (03:07): A hundred percent.

(03:09): Before pandemic. You know, it depends on what I was doing during the day because during the day. Before the pandemic and, you know, the change of work, sadly I was working like eight hours walking dogs to and from home. So I wore, depending on the season, a lot of great, you know, athleisure matching suits. I wore a lot of dresses and things I could easily move around in. Fanny packs. I got very into the fanny pack.

(03:38): And then at nights and on weekends, I wear a lot of dresses, like classic dresses. I’m really into dresses. I’m really obsessed with different pattern booties and textures and things like that.

(03:52): Cause I used to be into heels and then moving into a city and walking as much as I do, there’s absolutely no way I can continue a lifestyle of heels. So <laugh> booties and, you know, like comfort chic.

(04:05): Like, I really like to feel comfortable, but also have an outfit that would garner attention, I guess, for a lack of a better term. But yeah, I basically wear anything and everything, to be honest. I have a room as a closet, if that’s to tell anyone anything.

Dressing to feel your best

Holly (04:20): <laugh>. Awesome. Is there anything that you feel like best in?

Megan (04:27): I think a really put together suit with a great pattern and a nice bootie is what I feel best in and feel like my most, you know, powerful femme self.

(04:39): I’m specifically into like male vintage pieces that I make hyper-feminine. That’s something that I definitely do feel best in. And I love a good black turtleneck with a bright lip and some gold chains and a nice thick denim. It’s like a classic go-to winter look and, and I think an outfit that I feel is really, really put together.

(05:06): And that could be, you know, anything from outlandish to very like, classic style, like a turtleneck.

Making masculine clothes ultra feminine  

Holly (05:11): You mentioned masculine vintage pieces that you make ultra feminine. Like how do you do that?

Megan (05:18): Well, I think having the body that I have. And being a, a femme, a self-identifying femme, you know, already adds into that. So I love putting things that, you know look interesting on a female body and kind of work very well with the curves that I do have.

(05:35): I love a nice tight t-shirt with a nice trouser. I’m really into loafers. I just bought my first pair of Gucci vintage loafers that, you know, <laugh>, it was a treat to myself. And like wearing that with a, a great outfit, which technically was a male, but obviously gender doesn’t really matter anyways. But I love wearing tweeds and textures and I like wearing… I have a vintage fifties bomber jacket that’s like Pabst Blue Ribbon. And I’ll wear a, a cute bodysuit underneath it with cleavage and then have that jacket on top.

(06:16): So I mean, it’s a combination of things and I definitely feel like I have an easier time buying male vintage over female anyways as a plus-size woman. So it kind of goes hand in hand.

Bodies, clothing, and self-acceptance 

Holly (06:27): Yeah. Thinking about bodies and clothing our bodies and clothing and shopping and finding things that fit it all brings up kind of a lot of stuff and baggage. And what does it bring up for you?

Megan (06:43): Well I think, I definitely think with finding self-acceptance of myself I do find a lot of joy in clothing and shopping. However, I feel as though I have to put in five times the amount of effort to find what I’m looking for compared to straight size individuals.

(07:01): And, you know, it’s definitely difficult when I personally cannot go into a mall and find anything that fits me or fits my size. So I don’t really have those opportunities of having like, the full shopping experience and be able to try things on and see what actually is going to fit.

(07:21): And I predominantly do online shopping as of right now because even, even stores that, you know, are, are great in staples within like the plus size community, you know, I went to a Macy’s recently that has a plus size section, and to be perfectly frank, I was kind of horrified at the styles and things that were offered in it compared to the other areas of the store.

(07:45): And so, you know, the shopping experience itself is, is somewhat, you know, that, that resounding negative feelings.

The limited style choices in plus-size clothing

Megan (07:53): Personally for me if I wanna have a bad day, I’ll go try on jeans, wherever my sizes will be. You know, like that’s usually very traumatizing and I usually don’t find anything that will fit anyways.

(08:06): And it’s, it’s very frustrating because, you know some people might not know this, but plus size people in the US make about 67% of the population at this point, and now we only are just reaching 8% of market share. So that means of all the companies that make clothing in the world, only 8% cater to plus size sizing.

(08:32): And that’s not even fully inclusive. That’s not saying that they’re sizing people above a size 18 for the most part. And then when we go into the larger sizes, that becomes around 3%, which is absolutely insane.

“Everyone dresses the same” plus-size style

Holly (08:44): Yeah. It’s also interesting to put those statistics against kind of anecdotal “everyone in America dresses the same” because if half or more than half the population is being catered to by a fraction of the market, how else do you not have people dressing the same.

Megan (09:07): A hundred percent! You know, it comes to a place where it’s like, you know, a lot of plus size individuals and we could go into cost, we could go into styles and what’s acceptable from society.

(09:18): There’s a lot of different factors that go into this.

(09:21): But, you know, it boils down to, of course we all dress the same because we don’t have any options and we have to cloth our bodies. You know, it’s not socially acceptable to roll around, you know, for the most part I wish it was personally. But you know, it’s not socially acceptable for us to wander around society without clothes on.

The cost of plus-size clothing

Megan (09:41): You know, we also have to go into cost, I mean, there is a fat tax and sadly at this point, plus size clothing has a markup of 22% – 35% more per item compared to a straight size.

Holly (09:55): And I’m just gonna jump in here because I’ve heard a lot of people be like, “but it takes more material” and that is not, that is not what’s happening.

Megan (10:03): Well and even if it was then we would have a sliding scale of cost. Do people who are an XS pay $3 and then an XL pay $20 because if that’s what’s happening please let me know. I haven’t seen that yet.

(10:17): So we put into cost over the sliding scale and the worst part is we’ve put the average to people who are smaller sized not to the actual average.

(10:27): And to anyone, like, I went to business school and I find it hilarious when people try to talk to me about this as though I have no understanding of how businesses make money. <laugh> And cost <laugh>. But they always are like, “oh.” <laugh>

Holly (10:43): We could, the economics of fashion are a whole other topic of…

Megan (10:48): Oh yeah, we can talk about that for hours. I…

Holly (10:51): <laugh>. Yeah. That’s a whole other podcast, <laugh>. Yes. That’s….

Megan (10:54): That’s amazing. A whole other party. Whole other…

Holly (10:56): Thing. Yeah. <laugh>.

Having plus-size style doesn’t just happen

Holly (10:58): What are some of the ways that you handle finding clothes that you like and that feel like you and that also fit?

Megan (11:07): I mean, I say this to multiple people, but it is a passion of mine. It’s not something that people are, especially in a plus size community, you don’t just happen to fall into being fashionable because it takes work.

(11:21): And it takes a lot of hunting down and it takes a privilege too. You know, there is cost and I’m lucky enough where I can afford some things, not all the things.

(11:28): But to me, I spend a lot of time online. I follow amazing, you know influencers that I get inspiration from and get, you know, awareness of new businesses. And I love local owned businesses and, you know, small businesses and anything in any marginalized community I can support.

(11:53): Obviously I’d rather give them my money than American Eagle <laugh>. But it takes constant work, especially when we go into sustainability with plus size. And I’m somebody who happens to love vintage clothing and resell clothing.

(12:11): And I cannot –even if I try –  make my entire closet be sustainable. It is just not possible. Especially in a plus size. I wish it was, but it is not. And then to also where things are socially acceptable, let alone fashionable.

Holly (12:25): Yeah. And then you get into fashion as self-acceptance and self-expression and that just kind of even narrows it down and down and down. Yeah.

The challenges of having a style aesthetic and wearing plus-size clothing

Megan (12:36): It gets really frustrating cuz it feels, it feels as though plus size and fat people aren’t allowed to have aesthetics in style. And that we should just take what is offered and be thankful.

(12:47): And you know, I’ve had people where they’re like, “oh, well, you know, it’s, I don’t really see that many fashionable fat people”, which is One, not true <laugh>.

(12:57): Two, you know, we should be getting more credit cuz it takes triple the amount of work.

(13:02): And three, it’s amazing, you know, when, when you are forced to deal with this, the things that you do find and work for. And like for me personally, fashion is my creative outlet and it makes me feel better about myself. It makes me, you know, have that sense of self-acceptance and self-worth and it portrays what I wanna put out into the world.

(13:29): And I think, you know, when we first meet someone, what’s the first thing we observe? Their appearance. No matter what. And that to me is, first impressions are everything. And I take that very seriously and I also like to wear things that are completely out of the norm and that society tells me I should have been wearing <laugh> and then do a great job at it. <laugh>.

Holly (13:50): Yeah. It’s amazing how much you can get away with when you’re well dressed.

Megan (13:56): <laugh>. It is incredible. And, I honestly can say I have seen the difference within the privilege and how people treat me from where I was 10 years ago within myself and my acceptance and what I was putting on my body to where I am now. And the difference is absolutely day and night, you know? A hundred percent.

Clothing is a necessity & plus-size personal style

Megan (14:18): And you know, I feel like people look at fashion as a luxury when in fact it’s a necessity. And clothing itself is a necessity and it, it’s, it’s really important for a multitude of things.

Holly (14:31): Yeah. And it’s, it’s even important if you don’t want fashion and clothing to be a hobby. It’s important to have a wardrobe that you love and that feels like you and that makes you feel good about yourself. Even if that means that you set your wardrobe up so that you shop once a year and like that’s it. That’s still an incredible tool that you can rely on every day that you get dressed.

Megan (14:59): Yeah. And that’s a part of routine and I think, you know, I understand like, not needing to spend an excess amount of money. But I don’t think anyone could look at their budget in a year and say that they haven’t had to buy any clothing.

(15:12): And especially when it comes to clothing for jobs and things like you have specific wardrobes that go for specific functions and what you’re trying to achieve. What you’re trying to be accepted, whether it be in the workforce or otherwise. And clothing is a multitude of things. You know, even if you’re not into fashion, there’s no way that you can deny, its importance in the world and within yourself.

Holly (15:38): Yeah. And if, I mean, if you have to wear clothing, you might as well like what you’re wearing.

Megan (15:43): Yeah. I agree. I mean, for me and, but the problem is, I know from, you know, my end of it and my activism, it’s very frustrating because it’s like you finding clothing that you like and also will fit your body or two different, different things sadly.

Standout clothing pieces

Holly (15:57): Absolutely. Yeah. Are there any standout pieces or stores or places that you absolutely love that are like your best, best favorite standout standouts?

Megan (16:14): Yeah, I definitely have a few pieces. I have a vintage 1950s faux leopard coat with toggles that really perfectly fits me and is like below the knee. That’s something that I will just treasure and own forever. I also have a pair of really cool gold boots that kind of look like something that Bowie would wear that are like a lot of fun that I absolutely love.

(16:48): Stores. Stores I have hit and miss because you know, some stores are more acceptable, but then they’re a higher price point and then like, you know, all that stuff. My go-to for basics definitely is like ASOS. I love ASOS for just anything I think of I can possibly find and that’s usually very difficult for me.

(17:10): I love Loud Bodies. I love this company, this new startup like designer, Waysil clothing. They are based out of Philadelphia and they make really fun patterned size inclusive pieces that I just adore. Things like corset tops and cow prints and you know, just, just a lot, a lot of fun. Like you’re gonna have fun wearing their clothes. Yeah. I think they just designed a cloud puffer jacket and I was like, “I think I might need to buy that. I don’t know what I’m gonna wear it with, but I might need to” <laugh>.

(17:45): So I definitely have a love for certain things I own just like those Gucci men’s loafers that I just got. I’m like, “ah, these are amazing.”

Clothing sizes

Holly (17:54): Yeah. Is there anything else you wanna say about bodies and clothing and trying to find things or anything like that?

Megan (18:02): Yeah, there definitely is. I think this sentiment is important for everyone and you know for me: ignore the sizes. Sizes mean absolutely nothing are not a reflection of what your actual size is or let alone you know what your body shape is.

Holly (18:19): Yes. Thank you for saying that. Also, there is no standard sizing. Every brand has their own standard of sizing, but it is not consistent between brands. You are not an 8 or a 6 or an 18 or a 24. That is not a thing.

Megan (18:38): No. It is not a thing <laugh> and I have been a fit model personally. And let me tell you, I have fit XS and then the same day not fit into a XXXL. So take that for whatever it may <laugh>.

Holly (18:52): Yeah. And I have bought an XS through an XL from the same company and they all fit me and I was like, this is the weirdest thing that is happening. Yeah. In like my life today.

Megan (19:03): This makes absolutely no sense,

Holly (19:06): But it was also like 2018 so like, you know, <laugh> different standards of weird things

Megan (19:12): <laugh>. Yeah, that’s fair. That’s fair. Yeah. Yeah. yeah.

Holly (19:16): Please continue.

Your clothing size is not a reflection of your worth

Megan (19:17): So like ignore the sizes. Just don’t take it as a personal thing, a reflection of yourself. It means absolutely nothing. Anyone who looks through my closets literally the sizes are everywhere and anywhere.

(19:30): I also say, you know, we’re all at different points of our bodies and our self-acceptance. Wear what is going to make you comfortable and wear something that you are not forcing yourself to fit into cuz you think that you need to. Wear something that is actually going to make you feel good about yourself.

Holly (19:47): Yes, absolutely. Thank you for saying that. It always needs to be said and repeated regardless of what size you are.

Megan (19:55): A hundred percent. This is not, this is for everyone.

Holly (19:58): Yes it is. Well, thank you so much for being a guest. This was an incredible conversation. I appreciate it so much.

Megan (20:06): Thank you so much. I’m so excited to be here. Thank you for having me.

Holly (20:13): And thank you for listening. I hope you enjoyed this conversation as much as I did. You’ll find the rest of this season’s conversations and links to everything we mention at WhoWearsWho.com/podcast6

I’ll talk to you soon.

Don’t forget to find out more about Megan on Megan’s website, and follow her on Instagram here